Punt-Counterpunt: Indiana 2013

Submitted by Brian on October 19th, 2013 at 12:36 PM


Something's been missing from Michigan gamedays since the free programs ceased being economically viable: scientific gameday predictions that are not at all preordained by the strictures of a column in which one writer takes a positive tack and the other a negative one… something like Punt-Counterpunt.


By Nick RouMel

Last weekend was an especially heartbreaking one for local sports fans. Both Michigan, on Saturday vs. Penn State, and the Tigers, on Sunday vs. the Red Sox, managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of seemingly certain victory.


These kinds of losses are the most difficult to handle, right? It’s like any near miss. Not just a sports outcome, of course. But a job you don’t get; a relationship that doesn’t work out. They haunt you. You replay every facet endlessly in your mind. “What if I hadn’t picked my nose during the interview?” or “What if Sparky* hadn’t pulled Scherzer after 7 innings?” or “What if Shawn Crable hadn’t missed that blocking assignment on the field goal attempt?”

On the other end of the spectrum, who cares if the Lions lose? They generally suck, with occasional flashes of mediocrity. There are no expectations, year in and year out. So when they win, it’s a happy occurrence. Compare and contrast how terrible you felt when Michigan beat Akron and Connecticut.

I argue that sports ceases to be a happy escape if you feel crappy after a close win and want to slit your wrists after a loss. It’s just replacing one source of stress for another (your job, deadlines, etc.). The weekend is no longer fun; it just becomes tense. The only happy people are those who sell blood pressure medication and alcoholic beverages.

Sometimes it’s easier, in this column, to pick against Michigan, to protect a heart that has been broken too many times. To try and find pockets of grim satisfaction in small things, like the fact that mgoblog user “LivingInOhioSucks” was stupendously hung over on Sunday, because he dared to doubt my prediction.** Or to happily give away my tickets to a co-worker for the Indiana game, who has never been to the Big House.

And to even dare hope: that Scherzer and Verlander will stave off the Sox, and that someday, even these young boys in Maize and Blue will jell and become a team to be proud of once more.

Until then, just remember what the Wizard of Oz told the Tin Man:

“I think you are wrong to want a heart. It makes most people unhappy. If you only knew it, you are in luck not to have a heart.”



* [Yeah, I know.]

** [See Punt/Counterpunt 10/12/13, comment #2. (jump?)]


By Heiko Yang

I’m too broken to write prose, so here is my assessment of Michigan’s offense in the form of a good old-fashioned SAT analogy question.

Michigan’s offensive game plan : Michigan’s offensive goal ::

  1. Go to college : meet women

  2. Monkey wrench : assemble Ikea furniture

  3. Allen wrench : assemble non-Ikea furniture

  4. Sign up for extracurricular activities : become well rounded and meet women

  5. Run 5K : train for marathon

  6. Workout on elliptical : not ready for marathon, train for 5K

  7. Learn three chords on guitar : start jam band

  8. Rehearse stand-up comedy routine : audition for improv comedy

  9. Take pre-med courses : keep career options open

  10. A spoonful of sugar : cure diabetes

  11. Methicillin : treat MRSA

  12. Rhythm method : contraception

  13. Become history major : play to strengths, aim for law school

  14. Charge of the Light Brigade: Survival of the Light Brigade

  15. Ford a 15-foot deep river : avoid caulking the wagon and floating across due to high risk of turnover.

  16. Great Leap Forward : “forward”

  17. Drop classes and change major halfway through senior year : find five easiest credits to meet graduation requirements

  18. Reply-all : reply

  19. “Please remove me from this list” : get removed from this list

  20. Recycle high school essays : pass English classes

  21. Obtain degree in English : find employment

  22. Non-prescription glasses : look more employable

  23. Skinny jeans from Salvation Army : look like unemployment was on purpose

  24. Lottery tickets : acquire wealth while unemployed

  25. Craigslist : sell possessions, purchase more lottery tickets

  26. Click on “missed connections” : meet women

Indiana 30, Michigan 30, refs cancel the game in 5 OT.

[ED: We know. Our correspondents are currently behind enrolled in Football Rehab.]



October 19th, 2013 at 3:24 PM ^

of three Gardner TO's last Saturday enroute to a loss and the sneaking suspicion the game would come down to a final drive, which it did, although he got qb wrong and his work on it. 

I will never distrust your intuition again. And the basic nature from which you operate. And, of course, you aptly described the feelings of many Michigan fans with this week's column, feelings which I possess even now,  unfortunately.

We can only pray for a solid performance today by Michigan and the Tigers. The bye week could offer a different view of the future. 

You Only Live Twice

October 19th, 2013 at 9:43 PM ^

my son and I walked along with the crowds, in actual hail, to get to the stadium to say Hail...

it never stops being fun, you guys, last week was simply, an especially galling defeat for many different reasons, all of which can be read about if you just take a random sample of posts on the MGoBoards.